Week 11 Notes

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8 Feb 2011

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Week 11 Notes
The Mind-Body Problem
What is mind?
-mental states (belief, desire etc.)
-consciousness (feelings, sensations etc.)0
What is matter or the physical?
-what is described by physics
-physical states (mass, shape, electric charge etc.)
The mind-body problem = explaining the relationship between the mental and the
The source of the modern mind-body problem is Descartes
Dualism versus Materialism
-dualism = the view that mind and matter are different things
-materialism = the view that mind is a part of the material world which is all there
One form of Dualism is Cartesian Dualism
-mind is a separate entity
omind is non-spatial (has no size, no location)
-mind is in causal interaction with matter
oeg. Injury to body causes painful feeling in mind
oeg. Mental decision to raise arm causes arm to rise
One form of materialism is the Mind-Brain Identity Theory
-mind is identical to brain
-analogy with the discovery that water –H20
oneuroscience will discover that mind = brain
Mind and Soul
-soul (whatever it is) seems to involve mind
-sometimes it is said that mind is the “rational part of the soul
obut this seems to forget many conscious mental states (feelings, emotions,
-a quick argument for dualism
othe mind (part of soul) is immortal
othe body is not immortal
otherefore, mind and body must be separate
arguments like these use a very important philosophical principle: Leibniz’s Law
Leibniz’s Law
-LL says:
oIf X = Y then any property of X is a property of Y, and vice versa
oIt logically follows that:
If X has a property that Y lacks then X cannot equal Y
This is the principle of the alibi
-if the murder was in Toronto, and you were at that time in Ottawa, you cannot be
the murderer. Because the murderer has a property you lack
Arguments from Dualism
-the argument based on the immortality of the soul is a valid use of Leibniz’s Law
-but is it sound?
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